Images from a beautiful wedding where I was the 2nd shooter.
When planning how to cover the events of a wedding day I would look over the timeline and decide based off of that. If the day is going to be more rushed, then I may have the 2nd shooter grab parts of the day that are double booked, such as the groom getting ready. However, if the timeline allows I prefer to be the one shooting all important moments, and I have my 2nd shooter catch different angles. It is also very helpful to have a second set of eyes on the scene to look for any thing that may stand out in a photo, like a hanger that was potentially left hanging when getting dressed.
When picking a 2nd shooter it is very important to make sure that they are able to shoot in a similar style as me and that they have the gear necessary. I am looking for someone who has shown consistent skill when choosing my 2nd shooter. Plus, due to those indoor moments 2nd shooters must have knowledge of using artificial lighting. Having and knowing how to use a flash (or multiple at once) can make all the difference in those reception photos.
In addition to skill and gear, my 2nd shooters need to be kind with a joyful attitude. Wedding days can become stressful at times and being able to adapt to the situation is a crucial skill for any wedding professional.
2nd Shooters would be there for the wedding day, but are not involved in any of the planning or communication beforehand or the post-processing afterward. While many of us allow use of the photos for the 2nd shooter’s own portfolio, it is entirely up to the 2nd to edit the images they took on behalf of the lead photographer if they would like to use them for their own portfolio. For example, in this post I have included images I took while being the 2nd photographer at a Whitehead Manor Wedding in Charlotte, NC. The edits you see in these images were done by me for my own portfolio (because the day was just too gorgeous not to share being a part of).
2nd Shooters are expected to have no contact with the bride and groom or vendors outside of the wedding day. The networking and gallery sharing would be done by the lead photographer only.
When it comes to photographing a wedding day, the stress can be very high. A lot is expected of the photographer. The investment has been made and we really take capturing those moments very seriously, even as a 2nd shooter. However, it is an unavoidable fact that 2nd shooters get to be less stressed on wedding days. We get to explore angles and test our creativity in ways that we may not normally do with little stress.
And… I get to meet other photographers and build friendships with them.
So yes, I am a lead photographer who loves stepping into the role of a 2nd shooter from time to time.
View some of my lead work HERE!
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A lot of moving pieces go into planning a wedding day timeline and we know it's easy to feel like a hot mess! Grab our free tips and sample timeline to plan the perfect timeline for your day.
A lot of moving pieces go into planning a wedding day timeline and we know it's easy to feel like a hot mess! Grab our free guide to plan the perfect timeline for your day.